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CINCINNATI (August 14, 2017) —The Greenlight Fund, in partnership with The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, announced today a multi-million-dollar initiative to fight family poverty in our region. Together, they are investing $2.4 million to bring the Family Independence Initiative—and its innovative model of trusting and investing in family solutions—to Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. This includes a $1.8 million grant from The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and its donors, the single largest grant in the history of the Foundation.
“We know that thousands of families are struggling with poverty, and we need to rethink how we invest in families and their upward mobility,” said Tara Noland, Executive Director of GreenLight Cincinnati. “We are excited to have the Family Independence Initiative bring their model to our region and learn from their data on what Cincinnati families in our community need to escape poverty.”
“As our region’s community foundation, our role is to create a community where everyone can thrive,” said Ellen M. Katz, president and CEO of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “Our region is literally bursting with new energy and progress, yet we still have many in need. GCF and its donors are seeking new and innovative programs to help families in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky who have yet to benefit from that progress. FII is one such program and we’re excited to ensure we can rapidly deploy FII in our community.”
Founded in 2001, The Family Independence Initiative brings a new approach to fighting poverty by trusting and investing directly in low-income families across the nation so they can work individually and collectively to achieve prosperity. Families that partner with FII set goals they want to achieve, such as purchasing a home or continuing their education, and work together to help each other meet those goals. FII provides them with the technology platform to track their progress and then gives them access to resources, including cash, to accelerate the solutions that they’ve discovered themselves.
With sites in seven cities across the country, FII has partnered with more than 2,000 families investing in their solutions to escaping poverty. On average, during two years of engagement with FII, families report: a 23 percent increase in monthly income, 60 percent decrease in subsidies such as TANF and SNAP, a doubling of their annual income and assets, and increased education outcomes from their children.
Over the next four years, FII will work with community based organizations and other partners to reach 500 families in multiple neighborhoods across Cincinnati. They will be convening a launch team to help identify the neighborhoods they should focus on as well as families they should recruit.
“All families across America should have access to the resources and opportunities needed to achieve their dreams and we look forward to doing just that right here in the region,” said Jesús Gerena, Chief Executive Officer of The Family Independence Initiative. “While our initial goal is to reach 500 families, we hope to find more partners to double or triple that goal. Cincinnati benefits when all its families are economically thriving.”
In addition to the multi-year investment made by the Greenlight Fund and The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, FII’s expansion to Cincinnati is also supported by contributions from The Mayerson Foundation and SC Ministry.
Learn more about GCF's investment in the Family Independence Initiative
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The GreenLight Fund transforms the lives of children, youth and families in high-poverty urban areas by creating local infrastructure and a consistent annual process to: identify critical needs; import innovative, entrepreneurial programs that have a significant, measurable impact; and galvanize local support to help programs reach and sustain impact in the new city. Working in Boston since 2003, Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay Area since 2012, Cincinnati since 2015 and most recently Charlotte in 2017, GreenLight aims to grow a national network of GreenLight sites that learn and work collaboratively to find and spread proven nonprofit solutions that achieve meaningful and measurable impact in our communities on the issues that matter most. Founding investors in GreenLight Cincinnati include the Deaconess Associations Foundation, Bethesda Inc., the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee, Interact for Health, Procter and Gamble, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children’s, Duke Energy Foundation, the Cincinnati Business Committee, Bank of America and a number of individual investors.
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As an accredited community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2016, GCF had net assets of $563 million.
CINCINNATI (June 6, 2016) —The Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s (GCF) Governing Board recently approved $3.3 million in Community Fund grants in its second quarter. Thanks to the generosity of its donors, GCF is able to offer help to local needs.
A number of Community Fund grants this quarter included requests for help with mental health services with a focus on trauma-informed care:
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s increased funding for trauma parallels a national movement towards preventing childhood abuse, neglect and household challenges such as domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness or parental separation.
The Centers for Disease Control-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect and later-life health and well-being. The study found as the number of ACEs increase so does the risk for alcoholism and alcohol abuse, depression, suicide attempts, fetal death, illicit drug use, poor work performance, financial stress, poor academic achievement, adolescent pregnancy and more.
“Unaddressed trauma can be an underlying cause for many problems later in life,” said Molly Robertshaw, MSW, Program Officer. “If GCF invests in increasing access to trauma-informed services now, those affected by trauma in our community are more likely to have the opportunity to live healthy lives.”
Through its Generous Together program, GCF partnered with its donors to provide a grant to Little Sisters of the Poor for $65,000. Generous Together provides donors an opportunity to partner with GCF in providing support to grant seekers. The grant to Little Sisters of the Poor will assist in the purchase of an emergency power generator.
“We are grateful for the opportunity offered by GCF to further assist the Little Sisters of the Poor, whose work we have admired and supported for many years,” said Peter Schmid, a GCF donor.
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s Community Fund supports the current and greatest needs in our community. Contributions to GCF’s Community Fund build more resources to invest in the good work of nonprofit organizations in our region. Contributions can be made at www.gcfdn.org/yourcommunity.
See the complete list of spring 2016 grants [PDF]
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As a community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2015, GCF had net assets of $533 million.
CINCINNATI (January 31, 2018)—The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) has provided $25,000 in funding to support The Cincinnati Project, a community-engaged research initiative at the University of Cincinnati (UC). The funding will go to support projects that offer clear and direct benefit to women of color in Cincinnati.
“As GCF goes deeper on the complex issues of equity, we are intentionally investing in projects that support women of color in our community,” said Ellen M. Katz, president/CEO of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “By partnering with The Cincinnati Project, we can support the many innovative projects they are tackling, and we are inspired by what they are doing.”
The Cincinnati Project was launched in 2013 by faculty researchers in UC’s College of Arts and Sciences. More than 12 University of Cincinnati faculty and students from their classes will be involved in these upcoming projects.
Funding will support:
“We are thrilled to partner with the Greater Cincinnati Foundation,” said Dr. Jennifer Malat, UC College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean of Social Sciences and co-founder of The Cincinnati Project. “With their support, and the continued support and collaboration of our other community partners, The Cincinnati Project will raise the voices of women of color and collaborate to recommend policies that will improve lives.”
“The support from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation is an important validation of the work that The Cincinnati Project has been doing for the last several years” said Dr. Ken Petren, Dean of the UC College of Arts and Sciences, “I’m confident that this partnership will not only help improve the lives of women in color in Cincinnati, but also provide hope and assistance to our other partners and organizations who are working for equity in Cincinnati.”
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As a community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2016, GCF had net assets of $563 million.
The David C. Herriman Fund of Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) has granted its 2019 awards to two regional arts organizations, Know Theatre of Cincinnati and Revolution Dance Theatre.
The grants, the first for the fund, will be awarded annually to arts organizations in the eight-county GCF funding region — Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties in Ohio; Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties in Kentucky; and Dearborn County in Indiana.
They honor the legacy of the late Northern Kentucky philanthropist and arts patron David C. Herriman, who established the fund for the purpose of “making possible what would otherwise be impossible” for both large and small arts organizations. The awards will particularly focus on new works, the education of youth and performance enhancement through funding to bring in performance artists, directors, choreographers, authors, musicians and other creative artists.
“We are thrilled that David’s immeasurable passion for the advancement of the arts in his adopted hometown lives on in such impactful ways,” said Ellen M. Katz, GCF President/CEO. “We are honored to help ensure that his vision will be preserved for generations to come.”
Know Theatre of Cincinnati will receive $30,000 to fund its “Welcoming New Voices to the Know” guest residency program for artists of color during its 2019-2020 MainStage season. The Over-the-Rhine theater will conduct a search for up to four guest directors and/or designers of color from New York and Chicago to provide fresh perspectives to their audiences and shadowing/mentee opportunities to local artists. Know Theatre is recognized as a “theatrical playground where all are welcome,” amplifying under-represented voices and presenting inclusive productions.
Revolution Dance Theatre (RDT) will receive $10,000 to fund its Ballet on the BLOC collaboration with BLOC Ministries to bring high-quality arts experiences and classical dance access to the Lower Price Hill community. The funds will be used to cover professional fees for residencies at Oyler Elementary School and the neighborhood Q-Kidz Dance Team, as well as an extended residency with instructor KaRon Brown-Lehman, monthly events for intermediate and advance level dancers and a performance at Aronoff Center for the Arts. RDT is dedicated to “breaking barriers between the ballet art form and people of color” by bringing dance classes and resources to under-represented communities and producing works that celebrate diversity.
The anonymous committee that considered the funding requests includes a member of the arts community, a faculty member of a local university or college and a person representing a county of GCF’s funding region, a position which will rotate each year between the eight counties.
“Our committee was pleased and proud to review many excellent applications,” said a committee member. “The process underscored the depth and strength of the arts community in which we live and work. David’s goal of ‘making possible the impossible’ most clearly resonated in the grants to Know Theatre and Revolution Dance Theatre. We encourage all to attend their grant-winning performances to enjoy the impact of a most cherished friend and philanthropist, David Herriman.”
The David C. Herriman Fund of Greater Cincinnati Foundation will award up to three grants — one large, and one or two smaller — totaling $220,000 in 2019. GCF will publish a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the next funding cycle in April. Proposals will be due on October 1.
As the region’s leading community foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation connects people with purpose in an eight-county region in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. GCF is leading the charge toward a more vibrant Greater Cincinnati for everyone – now, and for generations to come. As of 2017, GCF is the 35th largest U.S. community foundation with net assets of $649 million.
In 2017, Greater Cincinnati Foundation, together with its generous donors, made the single largest investment in its history: $1.8 million to partner with the Greenlight Fund to bring the Family Independence Initiative (FII) to Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The commitment is a reflection of GCF’s new focus on building a more equitable community and connecting people with purpose. GCF believes in the innovative FII model because it trusts and empowers families to determine their goals to move themselves out of poverty, individually and collectively through cohort groups. Cincinnati is the eighth U.S. city to participate in the FII program. Its two-year, data-driven process, backed by technology that tracks results, produces significant — even life-changing — outcomes.
A year after FII’s launching here, GCF’s deep, concentrated stake is paying powerful financial and social dividends. To date, more than 179 families — from Middletown to Alexandria, and Northgate to Bethel — have enrolled in FII, exceeding the program’s first-year goal.
FII - Cincinnati families are reporting that during the first six months of engagement, on average:
In addition to financial progress, the cohort groups harness the value of social capital exchanges — help they give to and receive from friends, family and neighbors through such activities as child care, preparing meals and providing transportation. To date, Cincinnati-FII families have exchanged an estimated $34,000 in such social capital exchanges; that figure increases as their community engagement and relationship building grow.
Marcia Worsham and Carla Belcher, two single mothers enrolled in FII here, have made tremendous strides. “The fire inside of me has been reignited since I have been setting my goals in my monthly journal,” said Marcia. Completing those goals — including paying off debt, building emergency savings, enrolling her two children in gymnastics and obtaining a life insurance policy — has been empowering. “That just makes you want to move on to the next goal and continue to chip away at the things that seemed like mountains before.”
Carla, an artist, was inspired by her participation at the PolicyLink Equity Summit in Chicago, especially its Mobilizing Arts and Culture in the Equity Movement workshop. “I had always wanted to start my own business, not just to sell my work but to spark social change in North College Hill,” she said. “Bouncing ideas off of other workshop attendees taught me that equity can begin with subtle changes. I was inspired to go home and make my dream a reality.”
GCF’s initial investment accelerated the original commitment from 200 to 500 families. FII Cincinnati's new goal, thanks to GCF's substantial commitment along with its generous donors, is to partner with 1,000 families over four years.
Here are ways to join GCF in advancing the transformative success of FII-Cincinnati:
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